Thursday, January 27, 2022
HomeCommunity DevelopmentInfrastructureAmaechi announces Kano-Kaduna rail project’s commissioning date

Amaechi announces Kano-Kaduna rail project’s commissioning date

Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi has said commercial activities will begin on the Kano-Kaduna rail line in December 2022.

The minister spoke in Kano while inspecting the project.

The Federal Government, the minister, said, has pumped over $400million into the three-year project. The minister stated that it would be inaugurated before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.

The minister also revealed that the Federal Executive Council suggested that the contractors construct double tracks instead of the recommended single track.

He noted that the decision of the cabinet would affect the initial cost which was pegged at $1.2billion.

He said: “We are here basically to find out whether the contractors have commenced work and how far they have gone because they have a target of completing this thing at the end of next year December or in the first quarter of 2023.

“The cabinet decided that instead of a single track recommended by China, we should continue with the double-track we had done on Lagos-Ibadan and the cabinet is bigger than me, I cannot overrule either can the Chinese contractor overrule.

“Luckily for us, they are doing the formation as double track, so we will just include the track laying to conclude the contract.”

On whether it would affect the cost of the project, he said: “It will certainly affect the cost in terms of the track but not the civil works.”

Amaechi also debunked claims that compensation was not paid to landowners on the corridor.

He said: “We don’t have any issues of compensation on this route. Before we started, we made sure everybody had been paid before we even started clearing and that is the first item on the implementation strategy of the work.

“According to the strategy, you must first pay the owners of the land so they don’t come and disturb you from working.”

The minister also proceeded to Daura to assess the progress of work at the University of Transportation in Katsina State.

Amaechi expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of work at the site.

Speaking after touring the university site, he said: “The expectation is that they should have been able to complete nearly all the buildings but they said they are doing it in phases, and if they do that, it would take like 10 years for them to complete all the buildings

“We have invited them to the office on Tuesday to come and explain why instead of taking the buildings at the same time, they are taking just two hostels, two classrooms, staff quarters, one laboratory, and one office complex. That is not enough.

“The entire thing we agreed with them was that they were going to do a project worth $50 million both management and construction and they have not done that here.

“They have chosen to do what they consider to be phase1 and they said by next year when they admit students, they would be constructing phase 2. All that can be done before the students resume.”

He also said the contractors would manage the school for five before handing it over to the federal government.

“The contractors are to manage the project for five years but they are not to determine the number of students we would admit, it is the decision of the ministry of education.”

(The nation)

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